According to Big Walnut High School boys track and field coach Eric Myers, senior Tyler Fifer has made a name for himself this season.

According to Big Walnut High School boys track and field coach Eric Myers, senior Tyler Fifer has made a name for himself this season.

After all, despite being 5-foot-6, Fifer has been one of the area's top high jumpers this spring, having cleared a season-best 6 feet, 10 1/4 inches before competing in the event on the second day of the Division I regional meet, which was held May 25 and 27 at Pickerington North.

Entering regional, the only area high jumper who had cleared a higher height was Brookhaven senior Nigel Preacher, who is 6-3 and has a season-best jump of 7-1/4 before competing in the regional.

"I don't want to compare him to a sideshow because he's by no means a sideshow, but as we go around (to meets) we hear the chatter around central Ohio and see people pointing and saying, 'There's that kid,'" Myers said of Fifer. "He's pretty amazing. He's had an incredible career. I couldn't be happier with him.

"Tyler's just a great competitor. He has the ability to focus and put himself in a mental state where he's ready to go. He also has incredible body control. If he did have a bigger frame and he had that control, he would be out of this world. But, as he is, he's outstanding. But we kind of laugh about how he's in the frame of a 5-6 kid and he's out here long jumping and high jumping against kids who are 6-4, 6-5."

Fifer, who has signed to compete in track at Division II Ohio Dominican University, advanced to regional by placing first (6-6) in the high jump in the district 3 meet that concluded May 21 at Hilliard Bradley. He entered the regional unbeaten in the event this season.

"No one beat me," Fifer said. "That was a main goal of mine. I wanted to stay undefeated for the regular season, and I ended up doing that. It feels kind of good."

Fifer was a state qualifier in the long jump in 2009, finishing 14th (20-10 1/2), but was looking for his first state appearance in the high jump. He finished 14th at regional in the high jump last year after clearing 5-10.

The top four finishers in each regional event advanced to the state meet Friday and Saturday, June 3-4, at Ohio State.

"Technique-wise, he's the best I've ever seen," said assistant coach Mike Ryder, who works with the Golden Eagles' high jumpers and long jumpers. "He doesn't have a huge vertical, but he uses physics to propel his body over the bar."

Fifer also qualified for regional in the long jump, winning the event at district in a season-best 21-9. Also advancing to regional were Luke Atkeson in the 110-meter hurdles (first, 15.53 seconds) and 300 hurdles (third, 42.85), Nolan Leber in the 800 (third, 1:57.19), Jacob Walaszek in the discus (third, 140-0) and shot put (third, 46-7) and the 800 relay of Kenny Brown, Grant Corven, Gabe Kitchen and Drew Harmon (third, 1:31.63).

The top four finishers in each event at district advanced to regional.

Big Walnut scored 82.5 points in the district 3 meet to place third of 16 teams, behind Dublin Coffman (116.5) and Bradley (99.33) and ahead of fourth-place Lancaster (75.5).

"Our guys who were there absolutely battled," Myers said. "They got after it. Our district is tough. You start looking at the enrollment of some of the teams were competing against. I believe we are 28 boys over the limit (for Division II). We're one of the smallest (Division) I teams, but we kind of conceded that thought about three years ago when we moved up to (Division) I.

"It's kind of a catch-22 with us. We've set the bar so high in recent years that the boys were disappointed about the third-place finish and that's understandable, but they certainly have nothing to hang their heads about."

On May 25 at regional, Atkeson advanced to the final in the 110 hurdles by having the top time in the preliminaries (15.13). Also competing on May 27 were Fifer in the high jump, Leber in the 800 and Walaszek in the shot put.

Also on the first day at regional, Fifer placed sixth in the long jump (21-6 3/4), Walaszek placed eighth in the discus (138-8) and the 800 relay finished ninth (1:31.75). Atkeson was pulled from the 300 hurdles to focus on the 110 hurdles.

•The girls track team scored 79 points in the Division I, district 1 meet that concluded May 21 at Bradley to place second of 14 teams, behind Coffman (152) and ahead of third-place Olentangy (77.5).

"Getting second in a Division I district meet really speaks well of the season we've had this year," coach Joe Evener said. "We've preached as coaches that every event counts, that every point counts, and when you get second place by a point and a half, that just proves that you should never give up and you should always fight for that extra inch, that extra second to get any point you can.

"We don't have that dominating girl who can come into a meet and win four events for us. We get thirds, we get fourths, we get seconds and we just kind of chip away and we do it through 17 events. That's how we're designed and that's what we did (at district). I'm so happy for the girls."

Qualifying for regional were Brea Medlock in the 400 (second, 59.55), Bethany Bogantz in the 800 (third, 2:23.94), Olivia Small in the long jump (second, 17-1/2), Leah Thomas in the 100 (fourth, 12.99), the 400 relay of Julia Evans, Callie Carioti, Small and Thomas (fourth, 50.36), the 800 relay of Small, Carioti, Jamie Annis and Medlock (third, 1:47.24), the 1,600 relay of Annis, Liz Carty, Small and Medlock (fourth, 4:06.91) and the 3,200 relay of Bethany Bogantz, Brittney Bogantz, Lincoln Green and Catie Craig-Bowden (second, 10:01.38).

"I've never gotten all four relays to a Division I regional meet," said Evener, whose team was in Division I from 2002 through 2007 and returned to Division I last season after being in Division II in 2008 and 2009. "That speaks highly of them and our depth."

On May 25 at regional, Medlock advanced to the final in the 400 by running 59.39 in the preliminaries. Also competing on May 27 were Bethany Bogantz in the 800 and Small in the long jump.

Completing the season in the first day at regional were Thomas in the 100 (ninth, 13.11), the 3,200 relay (ninth, 9:55.78), the 1,600 relay (ninth, 4:07.93), the 400 relay (10th, 50.4) and the 800 relay (11th, 1:46.84).

•The boys lacrosse team advanced to a quarterfinal of the OHSLA Club Division tournament for the first time in its four-year history.

Big Walnut played at Cincinnati Anderson on May 28, with the winner advancing to play host to Delaware Hayes or Kettering Alter in a state semifinal on Wednesday, June 1. The semifinal winner will play Dayton, Fairfield, Milford or Springboro in the state final on Saturday, June 4, at Westerville Central.

Anderson was 11-4 after beating Springfield 18-2 in the first round on May 24.

Big Walnut lost to Delaware 10-3 on May 11 in an OCC-Central Division game but has not played Alter or any of the teams that it would play in the final.

The Golden Eagles opened the tournament with a 15-5 win over Marysville in a play-in game on May 19 and defeated Toledo Ottawa Hills 7-4 in the first round on May 21 to improve to 6-8 and advance to face Anderson.

Against Ottawa Hills, midfielder Parker Marsch had four goals, attacker Jarrod Norton had two and midfielder Dean McMillen scored one. Goalkeeper Sawyer Lott had eight saves.

Marsch had a team-high 26 goals through 14 games.

•The baseball team ended its season with a 5-4, nine-inning loss to fourth-seeded DeSales in a Division II district final on May 21 at Grove City.

Big Walnut finished 16-10 to post its first winning season since 2004.

Seeded eighth, the Golden Eagles scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 4-2 lead and maintained that lead until DeSales scored two runs in the top of the seventh off starting pitcher Tyler Beam.

The Stallions scored the winning run in the top of the ninth off Blake Gulley, who had replaced Beam in the eighth.

"We were up 4-2 going into the last inning. We needed two outs," first-year coach Chris Holly said. "We had our chances, but they outhit us (10-6). They deserved to win. ... (The players) were upset (about the loss), but we played a good game."

Big Walnut, which won its only district championship in 1974, advanced to a district final for the first time since 2004 by beating third-seeded Hartley 5-1 in a district semifinal. The game began May 19 but was suspended because of bad weather in the bottom of the fourth with the Golden Eagles leading 2-1 and was completed the next day.

Dillon Walls pitched a six-hitter.

"He pitched the best game he's pitched all year and he couldn't have picked a better time," Holly said. "We debated whether we would bring him back (May 20 after the game was suspended the previous day), but we did and he shut them down."

•The boys tennis team was represented by the doubles team of senior Sam Lawless and junior Nathan Randall in the Division I district tournament May 20-21 at Hilliard Davidson. The duo lost in the first round, falling 6-2, 6-0 to New Albany's John Hendrix and Oliver Sybert.

Lawless and Randall needed to win two matches at district to advance to state, which was held May 27-28 at Davidson.

"We had a string of several years in a row where we had kids get to district," coach Mike McDonough said. "That string was broken last year. To have (Lawless and Randall) get to district this year was really special."

Lawless and Randall advanced to district by placing third in the sectional tournament May 12 and 14 at Davidson. They went 4-1 at sectional, beating Worthington Kilbourne's Sam Lazaroff and Roger Juang 6-1, 6-1 in the consolation final.

The top four finishers in singles and doubles at sectional qualified for district.

"I thought they played really well (at sectional)," McDonough said. "I was very impressed with their play at sectional."

Big Walnut finished 15-4 overall, tying the program record for wins in a season. It went 5-2 in the OCC-Capital and finished the league tournament May 7 with 39 points to place third, behind New Albany (76) and Olentangy Orange (52) and ahead of Delaware (31), Bradley (24), Watkins Memorial (22), Franklin Heights (7) and Mount Vernon (6).

"I think this is probably my favorite team because we had good depth and we had a lot of kids contribute," said McDonough, who completed his seventh season leading the program. "I think that was neat."

Big Walnut loses two seniors in Lawless and Devin Trainer, but only Lawless, who played second singles during the regular season, was a regular starter.

In addition to Randall, expected to return are juniors Sam Baldauf, Nate Fagan, Russell McMurry, Dan Violet and Cory Walters, sophomores Jeff Tribble, Sean Tribble and Chase Wilson and freshman Logan Adams.

During the regular season, Randall played first singles, Violet played third singles, McMurry and Sean Tribble played first doubles and Baldauf, Fagan, Jeff Tribble and Walters rotated at second doubles.

"Sam is going to be difficult to replace," McDonough said. "Not only is he a very good tennis player, but he was the unofficial leader of our team. We didn't have a captain this year, but if you asked the rest of the team, they would tell you that he was the leader.

"But we do have a lot of players, a lot of experience returning. We're definitely hopeful of having another good season next year."

•The softball team ended its season with a 13-3, six-inning loss to top-seeded DeSales in a Division II district semifinal May 19 at Pickerington North.

Big Walnut finished 13-16.

"We had played DeSales earlier in the season (a 3-2 loss on March 31) and I think the girls were relaxed because they knew they could play with them," coach Jeff Hatfield said.

The Golden Eagles scored two runs in the top of the first of the tournament matchup but missed an opportunity to take a bigger lead by leaving the bases loaded. DeSales then scored three runs in the bottom of the first.

Big Walnut tied the game at 3 in the top of the third, but DeSales reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the inning with a run. Starting pitcher Emily Petty had to leave the game during the Stallions' at-bat that inning because of a rib injury that she sustained in the second inning when she was hit by a pitch from Kelsey Seeds.

Petty was replaced by Allie Walker and DeSales went on to score two runs in the fourth, four in the fifth and three in the sixth to end the game.

"Once Emily went out of the game and they had that one big inning (in the fifth), that took the air out of our sails," Hatfield said. "We gave them two outs (in the fifth) and that's something we've done all year, and against a team like (DeSales), you can't do that."

Center fielder Tabatha Piper had two RBI and Petty had one.